Ever heard of the story behind the origin of sambhar, the delicious lentil stew a jewel from the andhra kitchen? Read this interesting story at wiki . Stories apart, a couple days earlier, I posted how to make home-made sambhar powder, and do not want to leave it half complete to my readers without posting the recipe for sambhar. A perfect dish for the cold winter nights here. I could’nt stop thinking about home as I taste this delicous lentil stew that takes me back to my childhood once again. Eat it accompanied by crunchy pappadums or a simple potato stir fry, it tastes amazing. Here is how it is made:
Kandi pappu (Toor dal) – 1 Cup
1 tsp cooking oil
Shallots or Sambhar Onions – 10 -12
Mullakada/Drumsticks – 1 (Cut into 2 inch pieces)
Sorakaya/Anapakaya/Bottle gourd – 1 cup (peeled & cubed)
2 medium sized tomatoes – cut into quarters
1 carrot – Wash & cut into cubes
4-6 green chillies – slit lengthwise (Adjust to your spice levels)
5-6 curry leaves
1 large lemon sized tamarind – soaked in 3 cups of warm water and pulp extracted
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric
1 tbsp sugar or grated jaggery
1 tsp grated coconut
2 tbsps sambhar powder 
Cooking oil – 2-3 tbsps
3-4 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp avalu (mustard seeds)
3/4 tsp jeelakarra (jeera)
3-4 dried red chillies (tear roughly)
2 pinches of hing/inguva/asafoetida
10-12 curry leaves
Freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnish – 3-4 tbsps
- Pressure cook dal with 2 cups of water, 1 tsp oil till 3-4 whistles. Once the pressure leaves, open the lid and mash the dal smoothly or let cool down and grind it in a mixie/blender. Set aside. I prefer to grind it because I love the taste when dal blends in with vegetables.
- In a wide bottomed vessel, add all the cut vegetables, tamarind pulp, salt to taste, turmeric powder, curry leaves, green chillies, mix well and bring it boil. Turn the flame to medium and allow to cook till the vegetables turn soft but not mushy (about 15-20 mts).
- Now add in the mashed/ground dal to the boiled vegetables and bring to a boil. Add water if required or to make the sambhar slightly thinner. Add sugar/jaggery. Adjust tamarind pulp, salt if required.
- In a small bowl, make a thin paste of the sambhar powder adding little water and transfer this to the boiling sambhar. (Adding the powder directly to the sambhar would’nt dissolve instead forms into lumps and settles down under the vessel.) Cook for around 8 mts on low flame. Add grated coconut, mix well.
- While the sambhar cooks, in another pan heat oil, add crushed garlic and fry for a minute. Add mustard seeds, jeera. As they splutter, add dry red chillies and hing powder. Just before turning off the heat add curry leaves, toss and turn off the flame. Transfer the tadka to the boiling sambhar.
- Garnish with coriander leaves. Turn off the flame and serve it with hot rice and papad or with idly or dosa .